The year 2020 is showing unprecedented trends among food shoppers and home cooks, according to Chicory. The first two weeks of April reveal that recipe usage has reached levels comparable to Thanksgiving, and steady growth with recipe ordering (rather than sudden peaks) imply growing comfortability with online grocery shopping and repeat purchase patterns.
Chicory has been keeping a close eye on recipe traffic since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and tracking the impact it’s having on home cooking. While recipe engagement was steadily climbing for weeks, Easter weekend (on Easter day, specifically), recipe views outpaced those from Thanksgiving 2019.
Online grocery orders in Chicory’s network did not rise quite as drastically, but it was still the third-highest day for orders in the past year, after the peak leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas.
For consumers, recipes are a safe space where they’re able to find comfort, but also make use of what’s been stocked in their pantries and/or plan their next shop. While Easter may have marked a particularly high spike, Chicory is anticipating unusually high traffic to recipes compared to previous spring and summer seasons. The question remains how long will these at-home cooking habits last?
Top recipe trends
Basic, “how-to” recipes declined in viewership in the first weeks of April, getting overshadowed by classic comfort foods like scalloped potatoes and green bean casserole. In fact, popular recipes also mimicked those seen around Thanksgiving. The Easter holiday may have some impact, with scalloped potatoes reappearing year over year as a popular preparation.
However, Covid-19’s impact is clear on consumers. In 2020, consumers opted for cheesy comfort foods made from shelf stable ingredients, like lasagna, over egg-filled brunch items or strawberry-based desserts.
Top ingredient trends
Ingredient engagement trends (both positive and negative) indicate a new phase for shoppers amid Covid-19. Ingredients that shoppers had been stockpiling, like tomato sauce, olives and egg noodles, are being traded for ingredients that signal a small return to normalcy amid the holiday week.
Ham, pineapple and green beans all show that shoppers were working to celebrate at home in the ways they’re used to. Plus, the growth of ingredients like food coloring, marshmallows and pudding mix indicate that whipping up a special, sweet treat is a way that many Americans are breaking out of the stay-at-home monotony.
“As we continue isolating at home, consumers will continue to look for small ways to celebrate or mark special occasions, even if the group around the dinner table is smaller than in previous years,” Chicory says.
Chicory is a New York City-based tech firm and an expert in content-to-commerce for grocery. Its signature “Get Ingredients” button can be found on more than 1,350 recipe websites, including Taste of Home, Delish, Betty Crocker and thousands of influencer food blogs. Leveraging its extensive recipe network, Chicory partners with leading CPG brands like General Mills and grocery retailers like Wakefern to serve hyper-relevant ads to consumers in the moments when they’re planning their grocery purchases. As the pioneer of shoppable recipes, Chicory creates the digital tools to take grocery shoppers from inspiration to checkout in a few clicks.